Wasteful

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At my age, I have a surprising number of bad habits, and I’m very aware of them. I think that’s what makes it worse- I know the things I do that I shouldn’t, and yet I do very little to change them. But I did something yesterday that for some reason made me realize it more than at any other point.

I cleaned out my fridge.

I know I can’t be the only one who has the habit of making too much food and then forgetting about some of the leftovers, but I think my mom and I have taken it to a whole new level recently. We’ve lived just the two of us for about 3 years now (before that my brother lived at home) but for some reason we still make enough dinner and buy enough groceries for a family of 4 or 5. I mean, I’m down for some leftovers for work, but sometimes when the fridge gets too packed, it’s easy to pretend you don’t see half of what’s in there– especially if you don’t feel like eating the same thing over and over again.

I think this has officially become my worst bad habit: buying/making too much food and then deciding I just don’t want to eat it. Therefore throwing a lot of it out.

Yesterday after work I dragged my mom to the grocery store because there was almost no healthy food left in my house. This is a bit of a stretch I guess, but my mom likes to buy things that aren’t so good for you, and when I go shopping I buy all the yummy stuff. So it was time for me to go with her (at 10:30 last night, she humors me I tell you). We brought home 4 bags filled with fruits, veggies, cheese, hummus, healthy cereal, soy milk, all that fun stuff. My mom was already exhausted so I offered to just organize it all into the fridge. That’s when I opened it and discovered what we had let it get to. There was almost an entire garbage bag full of food that had gone bad. Vegetables that we had bought and forgot to use, leftovers that we had skipped over, cereal forgotten and gone stale. It was awful, you guys. Part of me felt great for making space in the fridge for all the fresh, healthy stuff we just bought, but the bigger part of me felt bad for ignoring what was already there.

Before this year is finished, I want to get rid of these bad habits that I’ve picked up through the years. Wasting food, in my mind, just became a BIG no-no. I couldn’t believe it. I sucked it up and cleared everything out, but I promise you that is the last time I will ever throw out such a huge amount of food.

One of my 101 goals is to go vegetarian for a week, which I’ve started looking into in the last few days. I had a friend of mine (and fantastic cook) pick out a good cook book for me to buy, and I’m going to be buying it at work this week. But beyond testing out vegetarianism, I want to make it a habit for my mom and I to have a fridge fully stocked with only healthy and fresh foods that get eaten on a regular basis. I know that my mom, if she shops alone, might not necessarily pick out that kind of food, but if I go with her and pick it out myself, she won’t say no to it.

It’s time to start breaking out of habits that should absolutely not be there in the first place. We’re only two people in this home and it’s time we start living within our means, especially when it comes to food.

What kind of habits should you be breaking out of? 

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6 responses »

  1. I have a habit of forgetting about food in the fridge too. I went to the farmers market before my trip and bought a bunch of fruit. That was about a month ago. Yesterday when I opened one of the drawers, I found an entire, untouched, bunch of grapes that I bought. I had to toss them out.

    I was a vegetarian for 6 or 7 months several years ago. I returned back to eating meat just shortly before a trip I had planned to Europe. I was told that they don’t really cater to vegetarians over there and didn’t want to be a pain in the butt when ordering food in a language I didn’t speak.

    I haven’t gone back to vegetarianism, however I have considered it.

  2. Me, too! It happens in my family all the time that food is being left in the fridge and then… forgotten. Mainly because my dad prepares most of the meals and when he opens the fridge to look what left he has a bad habit of not looking properly.

    I went vegetarian for about 7 months, too, but technically speaking that wasn’t a choice of mine. I moved to England and there were no proper butcheries near to where I lived and the meat I got at the supermarket was of such bad quality that I couldn’t possibly have eaten it. At the beginning I tried but then I wanted to make chicken, so I bought chicken filet – it said on the label that it was best before another two weeks time, so I bought it. But when I fried it, it turned brown (and chicken should always be white) and smelled really weird. Ever since then I didn’t eat meat until I went back home 7 months later.

    Oh, Elle, don’t know what country that applied to, but I am from Germany and (contrary to popular belief) vegetarianism is quite popular over here. Most people are still meat-eaters, but in pretty much every restaurant you can get at least one vegetarian dish. But maybe in other European countries it would be more of a nuisance if you’d ask for vegetarian food, I’m not sure…

  3. My husband has a habit of leaving empty juice bottles in the refrigerator. But they usually have just enough juice in them that they become wine by the time we get to them. Drives me nuts! But I do that sometimes too so I can’t be too angry 🙂

  4. I hate cleaning out the fridge, almost as much as I hate hard core deep cleaning (like closets, drawers, etc). Good for you for taking steps necessary to get things in order and on the way to healthier eating.

  5. I hate cleaning out my fridge because I feel like it gets back to its same state of dirty within the next couple of days- so annoying. My roommate is a vegetarian, so I usually always make a small portion of dinner (during the rare occasions that I muster up a homecooked meal!) and make it sans meat. I always feel safe making vegetarian pasta though, lol.

    There have been quite a few vegan cafes popping up where I live, so it is interested to see the types of dishes they use. I find many of them very greasy though, for some odd reason. No worries, I don’t think I will ever be able to kick the ol’ red meat habit.

    I am going to try to kick the bad habit of eating on the go. The past few weeks I have made a point to make my lunches for work the night before…I get to sleep in an extra half hour in the mornings now!

  6. I so need to break this habit too. I want to put some rules down where, I either buy less when I shop or I’m only able to buy new stuff when I’ve gotten the perishable stuff out of the way. I’m really guilty at the fruit stands cause it all looks so delectable and my eyes are way bigger than my stomach!

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